Team PNoy's 'treadmill' ad fails - analysts

By Ira Pedrasa,

Posted at Feb 17 2013 08:36 PM | Updated as of Feb 19 2013 08:07 AM

MANILA (UPDATED) - Team PNoy’s “daang matuwid” political ad is inferior to that of the United Nationalist Alliance's (UNA), according to two analysts.

For public relations practitioners Reli German and Malou Tiquia, what people remember in the ad is just the candidates doing a “treadmill exercise.”

German and Tiquia shared their thoughts on the marketing of the senatorial candidates in the 2013 elections in an interview with dzMM last Saturday.

Tiquia said “yun ang nakita agad, nawala tuloy ang mensahe.” German, on the other hand, said: “It was the form that was remembered, not the substance.”

The ad was supposed to be in answer to the challenge posed by the first ad of the coalition of Vice President Jejomar Binay.

UNA’s ad says: “Habang tinatahak ang daang matuwid, marami ang nagtatanong, bakit ganun pa rin ang buhay? Bakit dumarami ang mga walang trabaho? Bakit patuloy ang pagtaas ng presyo.”

The candidates of UNA are presented in a formal manner in the ad. “Maganda yung pagkaka-layout ng advocacies,” Tiquia said.

The “daang matuwid” ad, on the other hand, shows each of the 12 candidates “walking,” with President Benigno Aquino III saying, “Sa daang matuwid, marami ang gustong sumali. Pero meron ding nagpapanggap lamang.”

Instead of the message, however, what people notice is awkward walk of the candidates. It appears that they were actually on a treadmill, both analysts agreed.

German noted, however, that not one political ad in the 2013 elections has stood out so far. “Walang kastorya-storya,” he said.

He said there have been political ads that remain in the consciousness of voters for a long time. He cited, for example, then-President Joseph Estrada’s “Erap Para Sa Mahirap”, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s “Gusto ko, happy ka”, and Senator Joker Arroyo’s “Pag bad ka, lagot ka.”

Execution matters

German said a lot of senatorial candidates today are carrying too many advocacies, which overlap with other messages. Like in the Team PNoy ad, two or three candidates advocate the same issue, he said.

Tiquia noted that “jobs, education and prices of goods” are the three issues that are sensitive to Filipinos.

She said candidates should focus on these clearly “economic” terms, but have to find out how to present them in a “sexy” manner. “Kailangan sexy, kasi the economic [issues] are already high-brow.”

One of the oft repeated terms these days is “inclusive growth,” which means that growth should trickle down to the poor.

German offered the slogan “ang lipunan ay humaharap sa altanghap.” Altanghap is almusal, tanghalian and hapunan. Such a slogan would show that the candidate is ready to provide food for the Filipinos.

In the end, it’s all about the execution, German said.

Tiquia also believes that a candidate cradling a baby is not anymore in vogue.

Social media

Both also said candidates should tap social media to reach out to the voters. Social media can easily access classes A, B and upper C and those in the age group 40 and below.

“But these things cut both ways, it can be bad or good,” German said. Candidates can engage in debates or discussions with the voters, but they should also prepare for negative comments from netizens.

How about help from showbiz personalities? German noticed that the number of showbiz endorsements has already gone down.

“Malaki ang gastos…kailangang magtipid sa ibang aspeto para lang maka-afford ng television spot, which can reach more people,” he said.

A 30-seconder ad is worth at least P500,000. This will translate to P5 million for ten spots in just one day, he said.